“Rainbow chicken” is an affectionate name that a lot of parrot owners give to our birds. Parrots tend to be colorful little goofballs, but also occasionally act a bit dumb or stubborn, not entirely unlike their distant chicken cousins. My little guy, Tyson, is absolutely all of the above.
He’s a 5 year old Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure, which is a mutation of the Green Cheek Conure species bred or more vibrant coloring. I often remind him to marry rich; he was bred to be pretty and isn’t necessarily all that bright. Seriously, it’s a good thing that he’s so cute. He’s got these permanent big baby eyes that warm my heart.
Nevermind that he’s kind of a bitey asshole. He’s affectionate in his own way, on his own terms, and isn’t the biggest fan of my hands on him. I suspect it’s because I used to have to grab him bodily to put him in his carrier for vet visits – so my hands aren’t his favorite thing. Still, since separating from my partner, Tyson has really gotten much more trusting of me and I find joy in the little changes he shows everyday.
Tyson is not named for the chicken company (that’s a little macabre, even for me), but for the astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Though I have to admit, he’s shown no proclivity toward advanced mathematics of any kind. I’m still holding out hope.